Mike Thurston’s Simple Ab Routine Will Leave Your Core On Fire

If you’re wanting to build core strength (and a killer six pack) Mike Thurston is definitely the man to go to for advice. Even though this workout is pretty much using just bodyweight (aside from one exercise requiring a dumbbell) it is guaranteed to get your core burning. 

The routine is compiled of five exercises, of varying reps, and Mike challenges you to complete 2-3 rounds. 

Here’s the workout…


Decline Crunch – 12 reps

1. Sit on the decline bench with your legs between the padded bars 

2. Lower yourself back and cross your arms across your chest 

3. Bring your torso up towards your thighs 

4. Pause at the top before lowering for the next rep 

Alternatively, Mike used a bench without a padded bar – for this variation hold your hand underneath the bench by your sides as Mike demonstrates to secure your balance. 


Leg Raise – 10 reps each leg

1. Lay flat on the floor and cross your right leg over the left, bending at the knee 

2. Place your hands underneath your glutes for support 

3. Raise your legs up and down, slow and controlled as Mika demonstrates 

4. Repeat on the other leg 


Side Crunch – 12 reps each side

1. Begin laying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor 

2. Turn your legs towards the right so that one leg is stacked on top of the other 

3. Put your right arm behind your head, and use your other arm for balance 

4. Pull your knees towards your chest and push your right elbow towards your knee 

5. Repeat on the other side 


Knee Raise – 8 reps

1. Using the parallel bars on the dip/raise machine, rest your palms on the bars 

2. Allow your legs to dangle and use your arms to hold your body up 

3. Pull your knees towards your chest and lower them, slowly and controlled 


Russian Twist – 10 reps

1. Begin sitting on the floor with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle and your torso upright but leaning back 

2. Hold your dumbbell over your abdomen 

3. Move the weight from left to right as if you are going to put it down next to you 

Repeat that circuit 2-3 times depending on how ambitious you’re feeling, and as Mike says “call it a day and lie down”.


Take Home Message

We’re impressed if you made it through this workout. Mike has definitely proven that you don’t have to do anything fancy to get a good core burn. Keep it simple but maintain a good intensity.

Want more ambassador workouts?


Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Monica Green

Monica Green

Writer and expert

Originally from South London, Monica graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Philosophy. After discovering a love for the gym whilst studying, Monica was drawn to weight training which helped her hugely through stressful times as a student. From writing for a popular student site, Monica developed her skills as an author, writing trending feature pieces regularly. She is thrilled to be able to combine her love for writing with her passion for the gym. In her spare time Monica loves to cook, try out new restaurants with friends and explore new walking trails.

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